McHenry County Conservation District offers over 40 miles of horseback riding trails at four different sites located throughout the county. Trails may close due to wet conditions in the spring and fall or at any time due to unsafe conditions — call (815) 338-6223 to confirm trail status.
Boone Creek, Bull Valley — OPEN (Last updated 7/7/14)
This 1.3 mile mowed grass trail loop allows neighborhood access for a total ride of 2.6 miles through the northern section of the site.
Glacial Park, Ringwood — OPEN (Last updated 7/7/14)
Trails within the park wind over 5 miles through prairies, past savannas and restored wetlands, then cross the recently re-meandered Nippersink Creek. Trailer parking and trail access is available at the Harts Road parking area (off Route 31 north of McHenry) or at the Equestrian/Snowmobile trailer lot on Keystone Road (north of the District’s Keystone Landing). Restroom facilities available at the Harts Road parking area; a water hand pump is available at the Keystone Road trailer lot.
Hebron Trail, Hebron — OPEN (Last updated 7/7/14)
This 7 mile multi use trail is shared with bikers and hikes and runs from Church St. in Hebron eastward through North Branch Conservation Area and links with the Prairie Trail North.
Hickory Grove Highlands, Cary — OPEN (Last updated 7/7/14)
Lyons Prairie & Marsh—OPEN
The 4.75 mile trail begins and ends off Hickory Nut Grove Lane and travels the edges of the 400+ acres winding through woodlands. The trail crosses Hickory Nut Grove Road into the Lyons Prairie and Marsh nature preserve section where the trail loops and doubles back. Trailer parking, water and restrooms are available at Hickory Grove Highlands parking area.
Pleasant Valley, Woodstock — OPEN (Last updated 7/7/14)
This 1.3 mile mowed grass trail allows neighborhood access for riding. The mowed grass trail runs north/south from Pleasant Valley Road to Hensel Road.
Prairie Trail North (Ringwood to Wisconsin State Line) — OPEN (Last updated 7/7/14)
This trail is a 8.25-mile converted railroad bed — straight and flat — shared with hikers and bicyclists during the summer and closed during the winter for snowmobile season; trails may close at any time due to unsafe conditions. A spur trail connects to the horseback trails within Glacial Park. The trail can be easily accessed from the Harts Road parking area (off Route 31 north of McHenry). Restroom facilities available at the Harts Road parking area.
Rush Creek, Harvard — OPEN (Last updated 9/3/14)
Over five miles of easy, beautiful riding through woods, open prairie and across the creek. Trailer parking at the equestrian lot only. Hitching posts, water and restroom facilities are available near the parking area.
Stickney Run, McHenry— South Loop OPEN /North Loop Open (Last updated 7/24/14)
This 1.5 mile mowed grass trail allows neighborhood access for riding. The trail runs south of Wright road and loops back around. Trail Map
Leafy Spurge — dangerous for horses...
Leafy spurge is an invasive plant species that is toxic to animals and livestock. It produces a milky sap that can cause blistering of the mouth and throat if consumed. Although it is not widespread in our area, it can be seen from early May to October.
During Winter Months: In the event of a mild winter, the District will try to keep horse trails open for riding if: (1) Conditions allow (ie. dry, firm, no ice conditions on trails, parking lot, or at trail crossings; Note: parking lots will not be plowed.
(2) The forecast shows no winter weather system coming for a week. If a weather system will occur over a weekend or holiday – the trails will close the Friday before or the working day before the holiday and not reopen until the next working day – or when conditions allow.
Open/Closed signs will be posted on site, on this page and on the home page under Site Advisories. Call 815.338.6223 for current conditions. NOTE: When snowmobile trails are open at Glacial Park and Rush Creek, horse trails are closed.